Japanese American National Museum
Events Calendar

Calendar of Events — November 2009

All programs are free for JANM members and included with admission for non-members, unless otherwise noted. Events are subject to change.

Reservations are recommended for most programs; you may use the links below. You may also RSVP by emailing or calling 213.625.0414 at least 48 hours in advance. Please indicate the name, date, and time of the program, as well as your name and the number of people in your party.

For all ticketed events (classes, workshops, food tours, etc.), pre-payment is required to hold your space. Cancellations must be made 48 hours in advance or no refund will be issued.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

1st Annual Asian American Jazz Festival

events/Jazz100.jpg The 1st annual Asian American Jazz Festival is the world's premiere festival celebrating the creative and innovative artistic visions and achievements of Asian American and Asian jazz artists from around the world. Although all artists come from different experiences, their interconnected identities will unite them through a common musical medium to create a unique, expressive, and culturally relevant Asian American artistic voice.

Headlining the three day event are Japanese piano sensaton, Hiromi, Filipino singing phenonmena, Charmaine Clamor and Mon David, and critically- acclaimed Korean band, Prelude.

The festival will feature 12 Asian American and Asian artists throughout two days of music at Cafe Metropol on Friday and Saturday culminating in the main event to be held at the Democracy Forum at the Japanese American National Museum on Sunday.

The Asian American Jazz Festival's mission is to present, promote, and celebrate the creative and innovative artist visions of Asian American and Asian jazz artists. Through a series of concerts, AAJF will bring greater awareness to the Asian American and Asian artistic expressions in the medium of jazz while strengthening a united artistic voice and fostering a vibrant and supportive community among all Asian American and Asian cultures in Los Angeles and beyond.

For more information or to buy tickets go to,
Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Grateful Crane Ensemble Presents The Camp Dance: The Music and The Memories

events/GrtCranelogoCOLOR100.jpg Saturday, November 7 at 1 PM & 7 PM
Sunday, November 8 at 2 PM
$23.00 members; $25.00 non-members.
Call 213-625-0414 x2227 for tickets.

Relive the music and the memories as we take you back to the floor of the camp dance.

Back by popular demand, “The Camp Dance: The Music and The Memories,” is a musical revue which combines song, dance, comedy and drama to tell the story of the high school dances young Nisei held behind barbed wire during WWII. Performed before sold-out audiences throughout California and the country, the show features favorite 40s tunes such as “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” “Juke Box Saturday Night” and “Sentimental Journey,” and Japanese favorites such as “Shina no Yoru” and “Tabi no Yokaze.”

Presented by the Grateful Crane Ensemble, Inc., “The Camp Dance: The Music and The Memories,” is written by Soji Kashiwagi, directed by Alberto Isaac with musical direction by Scott Nagatani. Cast members of The “Camp Dance” show include Haruye Ioka, Keiko Kawashima, Darrell Kunitomi, Kurt Kuniyoshi and Michael Palma. Musicians include Scott Nagatani on piano/keyboards, Danny Yamamoto on drums and Gordon Bash on bass.

Also featured will be special guest appearance by “The Songbird of Manzanar,” Mary Kageyama Nomura, who will sing a couple of songs she sang in camp some 66 years ago. And actor/performer Merv Maruyama returns to sing some Japanese favorites in tribute to the first generation of Japanese immigrants.

Saturday, November 7, 2009
1:00 PM—2:00 PM

Exhibition Tour

events/commonground100_______________.png Tour our ongoing exhibition Common Ground: Heart of a Community with experienced docents.

In conjunction with the exhibition Common Ground: The Heart of Community
Saturday, November 7, 2009
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Chiptune Electronic Music Workshop

events/GR-logo-100px_.jpg Come for an amazing day of electronic chiptune culture! See how the gaming culture has influenced modern electronic dance music, especially dance-pop, house music and techno in this extremely unique workshop hosted by Adam Robezzoli of

In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years
Sunday, November 8, 2009
2:00 PM—4:00 PM

Iwao Takamoto: My Life With a Thousand Characters


Iwao Takamoto (1925–2007) spent a lifetime in the animation industry and was influential in the creation of some of the most beloved characters in the medium’s history, including Scooby-Doo, Atom Ant, The Jetsons’ Astro, The Flintstones’ Great Gazoo, and The Wacky Races’ Penelope Pittstop and Muttley, all of whom he designed. Iwao Takamoto: My Life with a Thousand Characters is the story of this legendary American artist, told in his own words.

Takamoto records his experiences growing up in the heart of Los Angeles as a self-described “street kid” and his wartime ordeal of being sent to Manzanar.

The book chronicles his career, first with the Walt Disney Studios, where he worked directly with the famous “Nine Old Men,” and later for Hanna-Barbera, where he was a key artistic force. Packed with memorable stories of working in the trenches of two of Hollywood’s most notable animation studios and filled with photographs and artwork, much of which has never before been published, this book is essential for any fan of animation and twentieth-century popular culture.

Co-author Mike Mallory and Barbara Takamoto will be present to sign the books. In addition, a special one day exhibition of Iwao's work will also be on display.

This book is available for sale at the Museum Store.

Thursday, November 12, 2009
7:30 PM—10:00 PM

Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe

events/GR-logo-100px.jpg Director, Harry Kim goes through eight haphazard years filled with mayhem to follow and deliver a portrait of David Choe, a young street artist that devises numerous schemes that afford him to hitchhike across the globe. A discussion will immediately follow this presentation providing an insider perspective on the life of artist David Choe.

In conjunction with the exhibition Giant Robot Biennale 2: 15 Years
Saturday, November 14, 2009
11:00 AM—4:00 PM

Target Free Family Saturday: Merry Melodies!

events/2007-07-14_TargetLogo______________.JPG FREE ALL DAY!

Delight in a day of family fun at the National Museum. November’s theme is music.

Generously sponsored by Target, these special Saturdays are filled with fun activities giving families unique ways to learn, play, and grow together.

All Day Craft Activities:
  • Make some jolly jingles by creating your own colorful and fun tambourine.

  • Shake Shake! Time to be creative and design your own maraca using a variety of materials.

  • Origami Corner: Make an Origami turkey, Gobble Gobble!

  • *Special Toy Drive: Bring a new, unwrapped toy to the National Museum and we’ll donate it to the Children’s Hospital of L.A.

    11:00 AM: Doors open.

    12:00 PM: Learn how to play giant Taiko drums.

    1:00 – 4:00 PM: Kidding Around the Kitchen will help you make a veggie soup that will be music to everyone’s taste buds. This recipe is in honor of Vivaldi’s, Four Seasons.

    1:00 - 3:30 PM: Have a great time singing your favorite songs with friends and family at the Rock Star Recording Workshop. (Limited to 20 children; first come, first serve)

    2:00 PM: Taiko Performance

    4:00 PM – Doors close

    About Our Friends:
    Helping a child "just be a kid" while in the hospital can be crucial to the recovery process. Through the generosity of our community supporters, approximately 500 toys per week are given to patients, based on the guidelines below: *One toy per week that a patient is in the hospital *One toy for a procedure or surgery *One toy for a birthday *Additional toys may be given if children cannot bring toys from home

    Please help the Children’s Hospital by bringing a toy to the National Museum. Toys have to be new, and wrapped. New books are acceptable too. For more information please call (323.361.2371) or visit:

    Rock Star CD Recording Workshop is the mobile recording studio that turns your event into a recording session for your guests. Reading off a screen and singing along with a backing track, your guests take turns recording their favorite songs. And the end of your event, everyone will take home their very own debut CD!

    For more information or to book your own party, visit

    It is such a common problem in today's world that families rarely get to eat together anymore.

    Kidding Around The Kitchen shows that families can make and eat food together without a lot of fuss or a huge time commitment. The family food demo helps families with tips on smarter shopping, fun recipe ideas, advice on how to incorporate healthier choices when possible and advice on how to delegate tasks in an age-appropriate way. This family food demo is a “how to” get everyone involved in the family meal.

    Kidding Around The Kitchen is for families that have full plates in life as well as wanting a full plate of food to enjoy together. It's about time well spent. You'll see your kids get a we did it attitude!! This family food demo works on the try it premises all while empowering the kids and family. If we can do it, so can you!!

    Kidding Around The Kitchen is an adventure in fun, food and family. We are not only making food, we are making memories.

    For more information on Kidding Around The Kitchen visit:

    Japanese immigrants first brought taiko (“big drum”) to the United States, but today’s taiko combines traditional Japanese drumming with world influences to create a uniquely Japanese American art form. In this interactive performance, kids learn about taiko’s basic techniques and some students will try their hands at playing the drums in a call-and-answer session. Kids learn about the rhythms used in taiko and how drummers create their complex music from simple beats.

    2009 Target Free Family Saturday schedule

    December 12 – Let's Celebrate!

    Other Family Events at the National Museum

    December 5: Winter Family Breakfast Feast Cooking Workshop

    Unique Flowers: Roses with Elizabeth Asawa: Nov. 15, 2009- Nov. 15, 2009, Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, CA
    Sunday, November 15, 2009
    1:00 PM—3:00 PM

    Unique Flowers: Roses with Elizabeth Asawa

    events/Asawa_flower100.jpg Learn how to recycle six pack plastic rings into a beautiful rose. Limited to 15 participants, ages 12 and up. Advance reservations required. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Up for Grabs

    events/baseball100.jpg This bitingly funny documentary tells the true tale of absurdity that surrounded the million-dollar baseball from Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run. Did you know the guy who ended up with the ball was Japanese American? The filmmakers will join us for a Q&A after the screening.

    Up for Grabs (Best Documentary - Audience Award, Los Angeles Film Festival)

    Thursday, November 19, 2009
    7:00 PM—10:00 PM

    Bringing the Circle Together: Trespassing

    events/100colorturtlesmall__________________.jpg Free Screening of Trespassing

    This compelling documentary shows the risks indigenous people and other environmentalists take to protect sacred Native American lands, the air, and the water from desecration by nuclear waste. It examines the deadly controversy around land rights, uranium mining, nuclear testing, and the disposal of nuclear waste in the Four Corners area, Nevada's Yucca Mountain, and California's Mojave Desert. Special guest Producer Susana Lagudis and Director Carlos DeMenezes will speak after the screening!.

    Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series

    Bringing the Circle Together: A Native American Film Series is a FREE monthly film series located in downtown Los Angeles at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy. The film series was established to provide quality documentaries by and about Indigenous people of the Americas, and bring together a central gathering place where discussion and awareness of issues can be shared with the Native community and its supporters.

    The film series is held at the National Center for Preservation of Democracy located at 111 North Central Avenue, between 1st Street and Central Avenue, in downtown Los Angeles. The NCPD can be reached via train, bus, or parking in the area (pdf for directions). Doors open at 6:30pm.

    The film series is hosted by Lorin Morgan-Richards and Tahesha Knapp-Christensen and is sponsored by the following organizations:

    The Japanese American National Museum
    The National Center for Preservation of Democracy
    Hecho de Mano
    Nahui Ohlin
    InterTribal Entertainment

    For more information about the film series please visit
    or by email at

    Saturday, November 21, 2009
    2:00 PM—4:00 PM

    Japanese American Resettlement through the Lens: Hikaru Iwasaki and the WRA's Photographic Section, 1943-1945


    In Japanese American Resettlement through the Lens, Lane Ryo Hirabayashi gathers a unique collection of photographs by War Relocation Authority photographer Hikaru Iwasaki, the only full-time WRA photographer from the period still living. This book explores the WRA's use of photography in its mission to encourage "loyal" Japanese Americans to return to society before the end of the war, and also to convince Euro-Americans that this was safe and advantageous. Hirabayashi assesses the relative success of this project, and discusses how, although they were created as part of the government's official record, the WRA photos can be appropriated and utilized for other purposes, today.

    While previous articles and books have discussed specific photographers, such as Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, Russell Lee, and Toyo Miyatake, no author has considered the institutional dimensions of the WRA's photo operations as a whole, including the set up and operation of the WRA Photography Section [WRAPS] in downtown Denver, Colorado. Drawing from archival sources and interviews, Hirabayashi delineates the mission, method, and make up of WRAPS. The book is thus an original contribution to the history of mass incarceration, and an illustration of the federal government's refinement in its use of institutional photography as a tool for shaping public opinion in favor of its policies.

    Purchase this book at the Museum Store >>

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    Members Appreciation Day!

    Members Appreciation Day is in its 7th year! It's one of two times of year when several of the Southland's cultural institutions reward their members with free admission and 20%* discount at each institution's gift store. And if you are a JANM member your membership card will get you these member privileges at a host of partnering museums, libraries, and other cultural sites. Make sure you have a current membership card for this exciting event!

    To see a listing of the other cultural institutions, please click here.

    *ticketed events and certain merchandise are excluded.

    Saturday, November 28, 2009
    10:15 AM—12:15 PM

    Little Tokyo Walking Tour

    events/2007-07-28_walkingtour____________________.jpg Relive history and learn about present-day Little Tokyo with National Museum docents.

    $9 Members; $14 non-members, includes Museum admission. Comfortable walking shoes and clothes recommended. Weather permitting.

    Saturday, November 28, 2009
    1:00 PM—3:00 PM

    Craft Class with Ruthie Kitagawa: Holiday Cards

    events/crafts-workshops-icon-purple-green-70px.jpg Create unique and fun holiday cards. $9 members; $14 non-members, includes admission and supplies.

    RSVP is required. Maximum 12 people.

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    Members Appreciation Day!

    Members Appreciation Day is in its 7th year! It's one of two times of year when several of the Southland's cultural institutions reward their members with free admission and 20%* discount at each institution's gift store. And if you are a JANM member your membership card will get you these member privileges at a host of partnering museums, libraries, and other cultural sites. Make sure you have a current membership card for this exciting event!

    To see a listing of the other cultural institutions, please click here.

    *ticketed events and certain merchandise are excluded.



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